The house that Chez built

The house that Chez built

Here in this wondrous city, there’s barely a week that goes by that our dancefloors are not blessed by an all-time great. This weekend, that honor belongs to Mr. Chez Damier, a pivotal figure of Chicago house and a producer and DJ of nearly 40 years experience. Coming up in the ‘80s, Chez split his time between New York, Detroit and his hometown of Chicago. Living in Chicago “taught me the music,” living in New York “taught me the understanding of it” and living in Detroit “taught me the technical aspect,” he told Beatport in an interview last year. In Detroit, Damier helped set up the legendary Music Institute nightclub and programmed Saturday nights there with local luminary Alton Miller. In Chicago, with wunderkind producer Ron Trent, he set up the seminal Prescription Records, one of the most storied labels in house music history. Inspired by the incredible sound systems they heard at Sound Factory in New York and Ministry of Sound in London, Damier and Trent wanted to make music that would “come out and grab you and feel you and spank you and all these other things.” They achieved this with a heady catalogue of deep house classics released between 1993 and 1995 before parting ways to pursue their solo careers. When the superstar DJ era kicked off in the late ‘90s, Damier chose to sit out for a while rather than compromise his vision of house music as a tool for healing and communion. As he told Beatport: “When you come into my house, people are dancing in their own world. I don’t want people dancing like robots, waiting for a three-second peak. It’s not right for me. There is no fulfilment in that, it’s just a parade. Music has the power to heal, to deliver people, to calm people. When I see movement but don’t see people really taking things away from what they hear, it lacks something. When they said house is a feeling, they didn’t lie.” Amen to that.

5.16.24 Doris becomes a Discotheque

Dancers Trust, formed by local DJs Frantz, Danny Ramos, Dante Scaglione and IBM Doily, is a collective of vinyl-loving selectors with superlative taste. They specialise in playing lesser-heard records designed to make you move, cherry-picked from every genre imaginable. Their first “one-off” party at Bed Stuy bar Doris in February was such a roaring success, they’re reviving it this Thursday night. Get there early to secure your spot on the “dancing-room-only” floor.

5.18.24 ReSolute presents Chez Damier Open Air + more TBA 

ReSolute are on a hot streak of putting on house royalty in the city, and a couple of weeks after hosting Masters At Work, they’re back to welcome Chez Damier with an open air event at a yet to be announced Brooklyn venue. Expect to hear the full spectrum of house as Damier “channels a feeling” with records and pours his heart and soul through the speakers.

5.19.24 REVIVAL w/ Soul Summit + Justin Cudmore at Public Records

Justin Cudmore’s beloved REVIVAL monthly party has tapped the legendary Soul Summit trio to take the helm this Sunday in the Atrium. Best known for their joyous summer parties at Fort Greene Park, Sadiq Bellamy, Tabu and Jeff Mendoza will be bringing you the finest in groove-centred classic house, funk and disco designed to move feet and lift the spirits. We can’t think of a better way to shake off a hangover and put a spring in your step for the week ahead. 

Reading next

Björk, baby.